Papalote Mexican Grill – the best burrito in SF?

Papalote Mexican Grill – 3409 24th Street, San Francisco (Mission District).

I love Mexican food. Having been in Sydney the last couple of months, I’ve really missed having good – well even decent – Mexican food. So it was natural that my first meal when I landed in San Francisco was Mexican, albeit a fast food chain (Rick Bayless’ Fontera Fresco). The fact that I was in California, the home of Mexican food in the US, hit home to me while I was compiling my SF hit list (post here). One restaurant kept popping up in everyone’s recommendations – Papalote’s in the Mission.

Right by the 16th & Mission BART stop, Papalote Mexican Grill is an casual yet quaint taqueria. The restaurant’s interior is a bright red, with colourful paintings and interesting decorations hanging from the ceiling. The counter area is very casual, with crates of drinks stacked by the side as a long line of customers forms next to them.

Clockwise from top left: sign, entrance & counter, sitting area by the side, one of many awards displayed on the wall

The interior

What we ate:

  • Chips & salsa (complimentary): oh boy, are these addictive – 3 of us girls finished 2 bowls in next to no time. And looks like we’re not the only ones addicted to them – the chips & salsa have been featured by 7×7 as one of the 100 things you must eat before you die in SF.
  • Fish burrito with refried beans ($10): I’m usually not a huge burrito fan given they are generally so heavy, however, when Papalote’s burrito has been consistently rated SF’s best burrito, I just had to try it. I got the one with the fish and I gotta admit, it was tasty. The fish was very fresh.
  • Fish tacos ($10): really tasty – all the ingredients including the fish tasted very fresh and I loved the citrusy-ness of the filling and the soft taco shells. Mmmm nice to be back in the States 🙂

Clockwise from top: the legendary chips + salsa, fish burrito, fish tacos

And to answer the question – this is only the first burrito I’ve had in SF, so only time will tell…

the verdict: 7.5/10 – very tasty and fresh Mexican casual food. the chips & salsa are addictive!

don’t forget to order: any burrito. you will get the legendary chips + salsa on the house.

to try next time: the shrimp tacos 🙂

Papalote Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon


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